Archive for July, 2011

Planting Dreams in Kansas Heat

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog, Planting Dreams book series

Planting Dreams book by Linda K. HubalekToday I’m thinking of those Swedish immigrant’s first summer in Kansas as our heat index is way over 100+ degrees again- like it has been for the whole month.

The women would have been wearing long-sleeved dresses, lots of yards of material, and sweat. Of course they’d be very sunburned if they weren’t covering all their skin….

Living in a handmade hole in the ground or flimsy wooden shack with a dirt floor…with mice, flies, snakes, ticks. No air conditioning. Just hope for a breeze.

Tired sweaty little kids…who hopefully are not sick…

Thirsty? How far do they need to walk to find water…which is probably scooped into a bucket directly out of a river or creek until they got a well dug.

Hungry? Where to find it, catch it, keep it safe to eat without a way to keep it below 40 degrees?

I know generations have grown up without air conditioning (as did I as a child) but it makes me real glad for modern times…and makes me admire the pioneer women that had to suffer through their first summer of Kansas heat. I think it would have been so different compared to a mild Swedish summer they would have been used to.

So you be cool today with climate controlled air, an iced drink, cold food, and hopefully doing an indoor activity.

Think about those first pioneer women and Kansas heat by reading the Planting Dreams series instead!

Planting Dreams: 
A Swedish Immigrant’s Journey to America, 1868-1869

Drought has scorched the farmland of Sweden and there is no harvest to feed families or livestock. Taxes are due and there is little money to pay them.

But there is a ship sailing for America, where the government is giving land to anyone who wants to claim a homestead.

So begins the migration out of Sweden to a new life on the Great Plains of America.

Can you imagine what life would have been like once they got to their new destination?

KindleReader.LoadSample({containerID: ‘kindleReaderDiv54’, asin: ‘B003WUYVWI’, width: ‘500’, height: ‘325’, assoctag: ‘buttbookbisof-20’});

 

A Cup of Tea with a Trail of Thread

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in about Trail of Thread book series, Blog

Pioneer woman's story by Linda K. Hubalek.Talk, gossip, laughter or tears—with a cup of tea or coffee—has been a comfort and need for women in any century.

These days it is easy for us to brew a quick cup of a hot drink, and hardly stop the flow of conversation. Even if it is just a cup of hot water heated up in the microware with a tea bag thrown in…it takes less than two minutes.

Back in the pioneer days—depending on if you were traveling or on the homestead—you’d have to gather the wood, start the fire, go outside to a well or creek to draw up a bucket of water, put an enamel pot over the fire to heat up the water, roast and grind the coffee beans, etc (sigh) before even thinking of savoring that hot cup of brew.

Thimble of Soil, Book 2 in the Trail of Thread book series.The time consuming work of getting meals—or even an afternoon cup of coffee on the trail—was very evident when I was researching and writing my Trail of Thread series.

For example, Deborah and John Pieratt, featured in the Trail of Thread, the first book of the Trail of Thread series left Kentucky in 1854 when the Territory of Kansas was formed. They were part of the thousands of families that packed wagons and headed east for the promise of a new life. They had to gather wood for a fire for every cup of hot drink they made for three months. I’m sure conversations with other women they met along the trail were welcomed, but short, due to the groups moving on every day.

Thimble of Soil, the second book in the series, features Margaret Ralston Kennedy. She was a widow who moved with eight of her thirteen children from Ohio to the Territory Kansas in 1855. She was dedicated to the cause of the North, and helped with the Underground Railroad in both Ohio and Kansas. Did she brew and secretly give hot drinks to people hiding under her watch? Did Margaret have a chance to ask where her visitors were from let alone where they were headed?

Stitch of Courage, Book 3 in the Trail of Thread book series by Linda K. Hubalek.Orphaned Maggie Kennedy, portrayed in Stitch of Courage, the last book in the series, followed her brothers to Kansas looking for a better life as the states fought out the history of the Civil War. Again, think of the work it took to make a cup of coffee behind the battle lines, and how welcomed a normal conversation with someone from home would have been.

This series, written in the form of letters the women have written back home to loved ones portray the life and times of that generation. I wish I could have a cup of tea with one of my ancestors to get to know her, and her way of life.

I imagine there would be talk, gossip, laughter, and tears—with that cup of tea…

 

Books, Books the Magical Fruit Interview about Linda Hubalek

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in about Trail of Thread book series, Blog, Butter in the Well book series

I enjoy book bloggers  interview questions, because they really come up with some good ones. Here’s some of my answers from a recent blog site called “Books, Books the Magical Fruit.” The blogger read and reviewed the book Trail of Thread too.

(Want to review or blog about my books for your blog? Please send me an email!)
Pioneer Writer, Linda K. Hubalek

Describe your book in five words or less.

Endearing Kansas pioneer women stories.

How did the ideas for your books come to you?

I started writing books in 1992 when my husband was transferred to California for a two-year engineering project. I was homesick for the Midwest and started writing about the Swedish immigrant woman that homesteaded our family farm.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What’s the easiest?

Hardest part? Getting started and staying focused. Easiest? I love the research and reading about that time period that my books are set in.

What’s next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?

Currently I’m working on my fourth book series, the Kansas Quilter, featuring my great grandmother Kizzie (Hamman) Pieratt. Born in 1874, Kizzie grew up in a large family in the Flint Hills of Kansas. She married Ira Pieratt in 1894 and had eight children over a twenty-year span.

The Pieratt family was featured in my Trail of Thread series, so the Kansas Quilter series will continue their original story into the next generation of characters.

Kizzie was known for her quilting. I’m sure at first it was a necessity to keep her brood warm, but she also completed quilts for other people for an income. As I research and write this series I’m taking a closer look at the family quilts that my great grandmother made during her ninety-seven years.

I’ll piece together Kizzie’s stories and photos and post them in my blog and in the finished books. Look for the first book, tentatively titled Tying the Knot in the late fall of 2011.

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?

All my series have been based on real people, places and the events that went on during their lifetime. It’s a good way to get the research and story started, and it has become my chosen genre.

What’s it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book’s release date?

That’s what keeps me pumped up, knowing that someone out there appreciates the research and time put into writing my books. And it means I’ve touched their hearts with my words, and maybe lead them to understand the lives of their own ancestors too.

What is one question that you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

What does your family think of you writing books? Of course my family is proud that I’m a published author, but also proud of the ancestors and farms featured in my series. My parents still live on the original farm portrayed in my first series, Butter in the Well. Because I put township maps in the books (and the roads are still the same) they know when a reader has found their farm. A car slowly drives by to look at the old house and barn featured in the series.

Where can readers find you and your books?

Go through my website, www.LindaHubalek.com to find all the links for ebooks and print books.

Review for Trail of Thread: I have to say this was a wonderful book – Little House for grown-ups. The letters tell the story of leaving for the unknown prairie and what goes on. I found each letter more enticing than the last to see where the journey would take them. I like that there are quilts that help tell the story also. The patterns are part of what goes on and the materials used are always relevant to the purpose of the quilt.

I would definitely like to learn more about what goes on once they arrive. I see this as being a wonderful series of books. Write on!- Reviewer Sue Fitzpatrick